The Educational Program
At iKids, we apply the Montessori system, which comprises five key curricular areas:
At early ages, children take information and understand the world mostly through their senses. When it comes to understanding the surroundings, child’s own senses bring much more information than adults’ explanations.
The Montessori teaching method is aware of the importance that senses bear in child‘s development. Therefore, we place great importance on sharpening the child’s senses, in our kindergarten.
Pre-school child is at an age when he/she starts to become aware of what is going on around him/her.
As a baby, he/she received information solely through his/her senses, without being able to distinguish or to classify information. Now, the world starts to make sense. The child processes information and begins to understand it.
Sensorial Activities are aimed to:
- refine the child’s senses, on one hand, and
- accurately classify and structure the information gained through senses, on the other.
The materials we use in this curricular area, help the child gain and classify information he gathers through his senses. Each of his senses = sight (visual), hearing(auditory), touch (tactile) including thermic and baric, smell (olfactory), taste (gustatory) and stereo gnostic (kinesthetic) – is being tackled by specific materials.
Materials are designed to isolate qualities, to refine fine motorial skills as well as the visual and auditory senses, to develop eye-hand coordination, to acquire and develop the ability to order and classify.
Sensorial materials include Pink Tower, Brown Stairs, Knobbed Cylinders, and Color Tablets.
The following features are shared by all materials used:
- they have one specific feature (e.g. only one color, one sound, etc.), which enables the child to focus on the particular feature
- they come in different difficulty degrees, depending on the child’s stage in his perception development
- they are built in an auto corrective way, so that the child is able to realize and correct by himself possible mistakes made while working with the materials
One other category of materials used in the Sensorial Area; aim to develop the child’s conception of space and volume.
Here, children become accustomed with basic practical activities and learn about hygiene rules.
It includes everyday life skills meant to help develop independence, coordination, concentration, self-control, self-awareness, confidence and include:
- Care of Self (food preparation, dressing, washing),
- Care of Environment (cleaning, gardening, care of pets, environmentalism),
- Grace and Courtesy (greetings, manners, social interactions),
- Control of Movement (refining movements, walking the line, moving quietly).
Children learn to button buttons, water the flowers, wash their hands, etc.
Such activities are of multiple utility:
- Help the child act autonomously. By being independent child gains self-confidence
- Improve child’s neuro-motor co-ordination skills
Language classes are based on phonetic awareness.
Children work their way through specific hands-on and tactile language materials such as sandpaper letters, to the moveable alphabet.
Language is not an isolated topic but runs through the curriculum. The spoken language is the foundation for writing and then reading.
The language area is aiming to:
- enrich the child’s vocabulary
- help him understand the precise meaning of words
- facilitate expression
- learn to read and write, depending on the stage of development of every child
Mathematics and Logics
In this area of learning, children understand basic mathematical concepts, such as numbers, fractions, series and units.
Math skills are developed with the use of specific learning materials. Hands-on materials are used such as number rods, sandpaper numbers, number boards, spindle box, number tiles, beads, and games.
Each exercise builds upon another and the child gradually moves from concrete to abstract areas such as place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and fractions.
Acquaintance with Nature and Culture
The Montessori teaching method teaches geography, zoology and botany, by using pictures, puzzles and other useful association techniques, meant to assist in fixing the information into the child’s mind.
As they grow, children become aware of more elaborate notions, including awareness about community, society and history.
The knowledge acquired in this area will help them understand the world.
Various arts such as painting, dancing and music are also part of the program.
Creativity is encouraged across all curriculum areas.
The natural science and culture area is clearly identifiable by globes, puzzle maps, flags and perhaps images or materials from other cultures.
In addition, children are taught social skills, how to interact with each other, how to interact with adults and how to behave. They learn how to be patient, wait their turn, and respect others.
In our kindergarten, teaching is carried out in English and Romanian.